Repercussions from the heavy rain that fell this week in Mexico City continue to reverberate: a public works official has been fired for negligence that led to flooding in a new tunnel, on top of which a new sinkhole appeared in the capital’s downtown area.
Just three days after it was opened, a section of the Mixcoac-Insurgentes tunnel in the south of the city went under water after heavy rains lashed the city on Wednesday night. A blocked drainage system was identified as the culprit.
The Mexico City government reported that the deputy director of public works was dismissed due to oversights on the project during his tenure. Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said that it was the responsibility of the official to ensure that the drainage system was functioning properly and to verify that there were no problems with the underpass before it was opened to traffic.
“It’s an oversight on a job that should have been carried out. The task was not fulfilled and that is what occasioned the immediate dismissal . . . .”
The city government also released a statement informing that a 3-million-peso (US $168,000) fine will be issued to the construction company OMCI.
“The lower part of the tunnel recorded flooding due to a lack of cleaning of the drainage system, which the construction company OMCI SA de CV and the supervisory company, Exordium, had the obligation to inspect before delivering the project,” the statement said.
Around 40 meters of the tunnel remained flooded for approximately two hours although no incidents were reported.
Heavy rains were also responsible for a large sinkhole that opened up in the historic center of Mexico City next to the city’s famous boulevard Paseo de la Reforma. No one was injured in the appearance of the gaping hole.
With a diameter of 15 meters and a depth of up to 13, it is one of the largest such cavities that has appeared in the city in recent years, according to the director of the Mexico City water utility, Sacmex.
Ramón Aguirre said that damaged piping that caused the sinkhole is 57 years old and that support from the federal government is required to modernize the city’s hydraulic infrastructure because it will cost at least 10 billion pesos (US $561 million).
Aguirre said that work to repair the sinkhole could take up to a month and cost 3 million pesos.
Metro chief Jorge Gaviño also said the sinkhole affected a high-voltage cable that feeds three lines of the subway system but service had not been affected because a backup connection was put into use.
Source: Milenio (sp)